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Evershed and Counter-Evershed Flows in Sunspot MHD Simulations

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Siu-Tapia,  Azaymi Litzi
Department Sun and Heliosphere, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Lagg,  Andreas
Department Sun and Heliosphere, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Solanki,  Sami K.
Department Sun and Heliosphere, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;
ERC Advanced Grant: Solar magnetic field and its influence on solar variability and activity (SOLMAG), Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Siu-Tapia, A. L., Rempel, M., Lagg, A., & Solanki, S. K. (2018). Evershed and Counter-Evershed Flows in Sunspot MHD Simulations. The Astrophysical Journal, 852(2): 66. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aaa007.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-601C-5
Abstract
There have been a few reports in the literature of counter-Evershed flows observed in well-developed sunspot penumbrae, i.e., flows directed toward the umbra along penumbral filaments. Here, we investigate the driving forces of such counter-Evershed flows in a radiative magnetohydrodynamic simulation of a sunspot, and compare them to the forces acting on the normal Evershed flow. The simulation covers a timespan of 100 solar hours and generates an Evershed outflow exceeding 8 km s−1 in the penumbra along radially aligned filaments where the magnetic field is almost horizontal. Additionally, the simulation produces a fast counter-Evershed flow (i.e., an inflow near $\tau =1$) in some regions within the penumbra, reaching peak flow speeds of ~12 km s−1. The counter-Evershed flows are transient and typically last a few hours before they turn into outflows again. By using the kinetic energy equation and evaluating its various terms in the simulation box, we found that the Evershed flow occurs due to overturning convection in a strongly inclined magnetic field, while the counter-Evershed flows can be well-described as siphon flows.